Saturday, July 14, 2018

Going home: Samui, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul on Bangkok Airways, Thai, and Asiana (pt 4of 4)

We arrived at the Samui airport about 45 minutes after leaving the hotel. The road to the airport feels like you are driving through neighborhoods at times. We checked in a little over an hour in advance.

Our Mercedes ride from the Conrad to the airport

The check-in area is not near the gates and you actually walk through what feels like a small town with shops and restaurants and it is all outdoors. There is a business class lounge there and it is the only air conditioned space in the airport besides the shops. We weren't flying business class but we have Priority Pass, which worked at this lounge.

There were only 2 other people in the entire lounge.

I've always wanted to try these machine, but I didn't this time.

Our plane was behind this one.

This is the waiting area for the trams that take you to the plane.

The trams park under here to pick up and drop off passengers. This is the international gate.

On the way to our plane with an ATR72 taking off

Our A319 this time had a name, called Bangkok. Our seats were in the rear of the plane so we entered through the rear door.

Bangkok Airways has a neat almost retro kind of logo.

This flight was less than an hour and again Bangkok Airways served a full meal with limited drink service. I was happy with my bottle of water since I had a coffee in the lounge.

We actually parked at a real gate in Bangkok, but then in the jetway we were diverted to a bus and not into the terminal. The bus took us to the domestic arrival area. We had to collect our bags here and then go and check in for our Thai Airways flight to Hong Kong. We had a 3 hour layover and plenty of time to do so. Once we collected our bags we went upstairs to the check in area. They were having difficulty getting the computer to print boarding passes and it took a while for them to figure things out. They never did and they actually hand wrote out boarding passes. It was very old school. Once through passport control and security, we headed to one of the many Royal Orchid lounges in Concourse C, where our flight was leaving from. We chose one of the smaller lounges that overlooked the C and D gates. They had a ton of food and lots of drink options.

View from the lounge

Royal Orchid lounge buffet in the C gates.

Our 777-300ER waiting for us to take us to Hong Kong

For the flight to Hong Kong, we actually had a real gate. We were the last gate at the end of the C gates. After doing a little shopping we went to the gate and boarded soon after that. The business class cabin was maybe half full. 

I was in the second row seat, which feels very private.

Hot towel, champagne, and a real orchid

View from my seat

Thai 747-400 parked next to us

Thai A380

Thai A350-900

Pair of Thai A350-900s

Some nuts right after take off.

Some pinot and still ascending

The meal on this short flight

Some coffee and water

Coming in over Hong Kong

The flight left Bangkok at 4:00p and we were supposed to land around 7:45p, but we were slowed down along the way by about an hour. We made a huge loop somewhere over Thailand and then again near Hong Kong. I think this happened because of the afternoon/evening traffic into Hong Kong because there wasn't any weather. I was able to watch all of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" on this flight. When we arrived in Hong Kong we found the Marriott desk in the arrivals hall to get transportation to the Marriott SkyCity hotel, which is adjacent to the airport. They got us a private van to do the 5 minute drive to the hotel. We checked in very quickly and we were only at the hotel for about 13 hours since our next flight left at 1:00p the next afternoon.

This is the view from our room at the Marriott.

There was a meeting of the Lamborghini Club of Hong Kong at the Marriott the morning we left. It was quite a spectacle.

We left the hotel at 10:00a because that was when the shuttle left. We ended up at the airport too early to check in and they weren't checking people in at the Asiana counter. That day we would end up flying from Hong Kong to Seoul to LAX. We had to wait about 20 minutes before they checked us in. Asiana uses other Star Alliance airline lounges in HKG because they don't have their own there. We were told we could use the Singapore Airlines one because it was right next to our gate. The lounge was great but had no windows, so it felt like we were in a casino where you couldn't tell time.

Our A330-300 to Seoul Incheon

Seat 3A today

Some pre-departure champagne

View from 3A

I was feeling adventurous since we were on the way home and I had never flown on a Korean Airline before. So I ordered the Korean meal, which consisted of things I have never had before and/or never heard of before.
The appetizer was chestnuts and something else. It was a very different flavor than I had ever had. 

The main dish was bibimbap, which was pretty good.

Dragonfruit is my favorite, so this was nice.

This was the Korean dessert, which was not sweet at all and quite minuscule. Dessert must not be a Korean thing.

I watched "Cars 3" on this flight. We landed in the early evening at Incheon. The airport is gigantic with tons of cargo planes and a brand new Terminal 2, which recently opened. We parked at the gate at the very end of the terminal.

You have to clear security when connecting to an international flight, just like in Tokyo and Taipei. We had a great view of this A350-900 and it actually turned out to be our plane to LAX.

Our A359 to LAX in about 3 hours. 
We had a 3 hour layover so we had plenty of time to explore the airport, which only has high end shopping, duty free, and cosmetic stores. It was very strange. There weren't any souvenir shops or anything that you would expect in an airport. So we went to the Asiana business class lounge, which was completely overrun. There was almost no open seats at all. Also the entire airport was very warm. We didn't stay long and found another lounge that took Priority Pass. All lounges were full and had lines formed outside them. It was ridiculous. I had never seen this happen at any airport before.

The view from 2K to LAX

Another very private feeling seat

This was the appetizer of the first meal.

This tomato soup was probably the best I've ever had.

I chose the prawns for the main dish.
There was a cheese course after the main, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I watched "A Wrinkle in Time" during dinner. 

I had some herbal tea with dessert because I wanted to sleep.
The flight was bumpy the whole time and the seatbelt sign and announcement kept going off and on, which made it difficult to stay asleep. About 2.5 hours before landing they turned the lights on and began serving another meal. We were to land around 3:30p, so this meal was like a lunch.

A salad to start with

This was like a chicken parmesan dish

A very simple dessert cake

Coming in over Los Angeles

This was an accidental photo, but I kind of like it.
We landed at LAX around 3:30p. It took a while for us to get to our gate, but we were through immigration very quickly. Our bags came out soon after and we were out of the terminal in no time. We were home.